Today you would have turned #19. This was one of the anticipated birthdays you were looking forward to other than #16. But it is sad to say (again) that you won’t ever experience it in the real world. I often wonder what you would be like. Would your spirit have been alive again if you hadn’t had that awful Thanksgiving weekend and that horrible experience you came home to tell me about. If you had been able to sleep better that weekend. If others had just left you alone.
During the 3 years since your death, I have been able to both meet and connect with many parents whose kids have also taken their lives or died by tragic means. There is one mom in particular that I met for the first time in September. We sat for a couple of hours, drank tea and just talked about her daughter and you. The one thing I have learned is that I am not alone in this journey. Some define it as a horrific journey. It can be. But I am trying to make it as positive as I can.
As parents who have lost, we all share the common bond by feeling the same way and thinking the same thoughts. Those thoughts include how much we miss you our kid(s). I have to say that when you left this earth, a part of not only my heart but the hearts of others – some who had never known you – was taken and torn apart. But where is the regeneration of parental spirit? I have to shrug and say I am not sure. As parents who have lost a child, we walk the walk and talk the talk. We put our energies into our surviving children if we can and gather support from others who are now in the #FAC group.
I want you to know Amanda, that you are leading me in this path of making differences. You are also pulling complete strangers along in this journey also. You have been added to 4 post secondary text books in the past 6 months for a total of about 9 texts. There are musicians, poets, artists, theatre people, sports people (and many more) who you have inspired to make a shift in not only their thinking but of others. Your story is synonymous with tragedies which unfortunately still occur. But your story is also making people sit up and talk more with others who can help them — young people, young older people and much older people.
If you could see how the symbol of a snowflake has influenced others to think about both you and the cause, it would amaze you. Your dream of one day being put in a position to be known has happened. I just wish you were here to see it.